PENINSULA Strikers’ senior coach Jamie Paterson resigned last Wednesday morning and assistant coach Lenny Greenan has been appointed in a caretaker capacity.
Paterson’s decision took the State 2 South-East club by surprise but president Trevor Johnston is hopeful that a decision on who will take charge of the senior squad till the end of the season will be made in the next fortnight.
“We are actively looking at candidates and we will exhaust every avenue to find someone who can hit the ground running and take on a rebuilding phase for the club,” Johnston said.
“We want someone who has good contacts and who can bring some players in and we’ll see how things pan out in the next week or two.”
On Saturday Strikers lost 5-0 to Doveton at Waratah Reserve.
Former Dandenong Thunder keeper Nathan Prince made his last appearance for Strikers and was deputising for Ash Kupre who was getting married.
Oscar Knight made his debut for the Centenary Park outfit and the former Caulfield Cobras winger could be joined by two more signings this week.
Langwarrin’s impressive NPL2 campaign continued with a 3-1 home win over Melbourne City on Saturday after a stunning second-half display by John Kuol.
The former Dandenong Thunder and Morwell Pegasus striker terrorised the young City defence with pace and guile and his two goals proved decisive.
Both sides went into the contest undermanned with Langy missing suspended Andy McLean and injured trio Luke Burgess, Liam Baxter and Boris Ovcin.
City had seven players unavailable due to PFA rules enforcing a four-week period of annual leave.
Langy’s makeshift striker Mat Luak opened the scoring in the 26th minute when he pounced on a defensive blunder, dummied a defender then struck a low shot across City keeper Daniel Smith and into the far corner.
Less than two minutes later the visitors hit back when Yusuf Ahmed got clear and nudged the ball home with the Langy defence in disarray.
In the 43rd minute, City should have taken the lead after a mazy run from Luke Duzel but his shot was blocked.
The second half was barely a minute old when Kuol pounced on a poor defensive header to expertly volley past Smith to make it 2-1.
Langy was the team creating chances now and it took a fine reaction save from Smith to deny a Sam Klepac header.
Kuol should have finished in the 62nd minute from a long ball downfield by keeper Robbie Acs which was headed on over the City defence by Paul Speed but Kuol skied his attempt when well positioned.
In the 75th minute, a Callum Goulding chip to the right of the area was headed back across goal by Klepac and Andy McIntyre’s header was spectacularly tipped over by Smith.
The contest was effectively put out of City’s reach in the 83rd minute.
Kuol made a stunning run down the left surging into the area before being brought down and referee Lazaros Pantelidis pointed to the spot and sent off defender Delibor Markovic.
Kuol competently tucked away his penalty attempt and that was that.
Langy reaches the halfway point of a 28-game NPL season after it hosts Brunswick City next weekend and another three points would place it in a strong position to achieve its aim of consolidating its status in the elite competition.
Langy’s under-20s won 2-0 with goals to Nick Simmons and Tuach Ter, a recent acquisition from Springvale White Eagles.
In State 1 South-East news an injury-time strike from Wayne Gordon allowed Mornington to continue its climb up the table with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Warragul United on Saturday.
Defender Jack Truelove took a quick free-kick launching a long ball over a static Warragul defence and Gordon made no mistake in a dramatic finale.
Mornington’s English import Sam Reeves has joined Casey Comets while Scottish import Alexander White has signed for Doveton.
Frankston Pines lost 1-0 away to Mooroolbark in Saturday night’s State 2 South-East clash with Maxim Solovyev deciding the issue in the second half.
State 3 South-East outfit Skye United continued its push for top spot with an important 2-0 home win over fellow title contender Bayside Argonauts on Saturday.
Skye’s star striker Caleb Nicholes was out with a neck injury and the pivotal moment in the contest came in the 62nd minute when Bayside defender Max Murray was sent off for a foul on Skye striker Mitch Blake.
Chris Driver saw the resultant free-kick hit the wall, but the ball fell to Daniel Attard who finished well into the bottom right from just inside the box.
It was all one-way traffic after that and Blake put the icing on the cake in the 80th minute as he broke through into a one-on-one and made no mistake.
Fellow State 3 South-East outfit Seaford was thumped 7-0 by Boroondara-Carey Eagles last weekend and has now leaked 35 goals in eight games with the added burden of a minus 29 goal difference.
Baxter farewelled club stalwart Werner John in style by hammering Harrisfield Hurricanes 5-1 at Baxter Park in Saturday’s State 4 South fixture.
John is relocating to South Australia and is a much-loved figure at the club.
Baxter led 1-0 at half-time after a long throw by Jake Kidder was headed home by Stuart Mckenzie in the 34th minute.
Two minutes into the second half a stunning long-range strike from Liam Kilner made it 2-0 and in the 66th minute former Baxter player Edin Ali was red carded after a reckless lunge inside the area at Ben Meiklem who had to be stretchered off.
Owen Kilner converted the resultant penalty to make it 3-0.
Alan Lipsett made it 4-0 in the 82nd minute when he finished Matt Morgan’s through ball and two minutes later Travis Ernsdoerfer made it 5-0 thanks to Kidder’s through ball.
Harrisfield’s sole response came from Michael Romas in the 88th minute.
Baxter under-10s coach Billy McLeod is taking his squad to Canberra in early July for the annual Kanga Cup, the largest international youth soccer tournament in the Southern Hemisphere.
Previous participating teams have hailed from Australia, USA, England, Denmark, Italy, Russia, Georgia, South Africa, South Korea, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Indonesia, East Timor, Fiji and New Zealand.
In State 5 South news a stunning second-half display earned Somerville Eagles a 6-2 away win over Endeavour Hills Fire.
Kamil Gajownik put the home team ahead in the 11th minute but the Eagles levelled straight away when player-coach Dave Greening forced a good save from Fire keeper Stuart Tolmie only for the rebound to strike a defender and go in.
Endeavour restored the lead in the 28th minute thanks to a superb long-range strike by Kenny Huggett but Louis Griffiths equalised two minutes before the interval with an instinctive header from a Greening cross.
Eagles captain Joel Wade succumbed to injury and was replaced at half-time but the second half was all about Greening as the ace predator ran riot and ended up with four goals.
The pick of the bunch was his third, a 25-metre screamer after good work by Matt Curd.
It was a record fourth straight win for Somerville and leaves the side level with Rowville at the top of the table.
In NPLW news local consortium Southern United lost 10-0 away to Alamein on Sunday.
Southern’s under-12s won 1-0 thanks to an Emilia Ingles goal, the under-14s won 5-0 with goals from Rhys McKenna (2), Erica-Derrick Sarfo-Sarpong, Sage Kirby and Alessandra Davis, the under-16s won 3-1 with goals from Haylea Porter (2) and Jasmine Ristevski while under-14 forward Danica Vukcevic scored in the under-19s 4-1 loss.
Here are next weekend’s games:
SATURDAY 3pm: Langwarrin v Brunswick City (Lawton Park), Caulfield Utd Cobras v Mornington (Victory Park), Peninsula Strikers v Doncaster Rovers (Centenary Park), Seaford Utd v South Yarra (North Seaford Reserve), Whitehorse Utd v Skye Utd (Terrara Park), Keysborough v Baxter (Coomoora Reserve), Somerville Eagles v Pakenham Utd (venue TBC, check Eagles’ Facebook page).
SUNDAY 3pm: Frankston Pines v North Caulfield (Monterey Reserve).
SUNDAY 5pm: Bulleen v Southern Utd (Veneto Club).